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My First Nutrition Lab

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478 words
Science & Nature

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My First Nutrition Lab

Cynthia Pedro
Professor Janice Grover

Gone are the days in which a family would grow and raise all of their own nutrition. We now rely so heavily upon fast food and extended shelf life that it makes you wonder how we are even still living. Food companies compete for best tasting, easy to prepare, shelf stable foods that are inexpensive for them to make. As consumers we should all be aware of what goes into our food to make it taste so good, look appetizing and last so long.

Lab one was a series of four experiments to determine the chemical and physical properties of thickening agents used in our foods, the effect of storage conditions on vitamin c, the use of enzymes in food production and a food label analysis from a processed food.

Part A was a comparison of food thickeners which consisted of us taking two sample vials containing .3 g of cornstarch and .3 g of modified food starch respectively. 10 ml of vinegar was added to each vial followed by 2ml of vegetable oil. After shaking the mixtures for 15 seconds the following observations were made.

Substance Observations

With oil and vinegar after shaking


White in color, looked like milk, seemed thick in consistency, slight layer on bottom, some oil separation on top.

Modified Food Starch

White but a little more transparent than cornstarch results, separated quicker, oil on top, seemed almost grainy with floating particles.

The second portion of part A tested result of different levels of guar gum. Two vials were used, one containing .2 g guar gum and the other containing 2 g guar gum. 10ml of vinegar and 2ml vegetable oil was added to both and shaken for 15 seconds. Contents were examined 5-10 minutes later and the following observations were noted.

Guar Gum Observations after shaking

.2 g + oil and vinegar
Milky White, gel like, no oil line, no floating particles.
After 10 minutes:
No oil separation, gel like, can't see thru.
2 g + oil and vinegar
Very thick, beige color, no oil line
After 10 minutes:
Very solid, dry, can't see through.

Based on the results of this experiment I concluded the guar gum, which is not digestible, mixes easier, becomes a lot thicker, and maintains its form over time. The corn starch and modified cornstarch had obvious separation and was more difficult to blend. I think a food manufacturer would naturally choose the guar gum to thicken their product and maintain consistency.

For part B we tested levels of Vitamin C from three different packaging sources. We used sample from Frozen orange juice concentrate, 100% orange juice ...

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